December 3, 2010

By Rosanne Prinsen, MSc

Alberta Centre for Active Living

Note: where possible we provide the DOI to link to research papers in the Info Round up.  To use it, cut and paste the DOI into the text box on this webpage: Access to research articles will be dependent on your Institutional rights.

The BFU program promotes active and sustainable colleges and universities.  The college campus is an ideal setting for bicycling and a natural fit for reaching institutional sustainability, health and livability goals.

If you want to influence transportation choices, this planning guide is written for you. You may be working on a very small or large program. This guide has been designed to help you focus on practical first steps and explore additional social marketing considerations. The guide's worksheets walk you through each step, provide quick access to the key questions to ask, and link to associated recommendations for further details.

The paper includes a review of literature and thirteen case studies of CWA tools that are compared using a framework based on the literature review.

The online information giant announced Monday that it is introducing a Bike Directions feature to its popular Google Maps site, allowing users to highlight bike-friendly trails and roads across most major Canadian cities. The cities are Ottawa, Gatineau, Que., Toronto, Waterloo, Ont. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna, B.C.

The report highlights the good value for money of Sustrans’ work, and how increasing levels of walking and cycling benefits economic prosperity as well as people's health, the environment and communities.

This article offers tips about starting a walking group in your community and discusses the many health benefits of walking.

This report from the London Assembly suggests that in some cases public policy interventions can persuade people to move from other modes of transport and walk. Furthermore, compared with the high cost capital investment needed for much transport infrastructure, such interventions are affordable and can offer excellent value for money.

All Star Snacks is a playbook for coaches and parents who are looking to support a healthy snack culture in children's community sports.  This resource can help community leaders ensure that active children enjoy healthy snack choices during sporting events.

This evaluation suggests that after school clubs would benefit from being staffed by qualified play personnel. It also implies that there are greater benefits to be gained by offering structured activities.

The development of the guidelines has its origin in work in Ontario in 2002-2005 that sought to make municipal planners and others more aware of several concerns about young people and today’s transport and land use and of the transport needs of children and youth.

Walking and biking are two of the easiest ways to be active. The National Center for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) has prepared a new research-based resource that specifically looks at the potential physical activity benefits of a SRTS program and describes strategies for measuring those benefits

Lots of great info, examples and resources here.

A comprehensive new report from Bridging the Gap and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that elementary schools across the (USA) commonly offer their students junk food and soda, serve meals that don’t meet current dietary guidelines, and provide little time for physical activity.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol. 91, Iss. 12, Pages 1856-1861
This is the first study to provide an objectively assessed activity spectrum in a variety of chronic physical conditions. We hope this study will increase the awareness of health professionals as to which chronic physical conditions are at increased risk for an inactive lifestyle, and will contribute to adaptation of patient management accordingly.

Specific to the programs offered in England – yet many good points here that could be applied to us.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010, 7:78
We conclude that improving access to greenspace for all in urban communities will require more than providing high quality resources such as parks, footpaths, activities and lighting.

The toolkit provides a range of easy-to-use resources to help your organization create sustainable physical activity programs for people experiencing or recovering from serious mental illness. Developed for use by community mental health agencies, consumer/survivor initiatives and any other organization working with individuals who have a mental illness, the toolkit can be adapted to your organization’s setting and needs.

The University of Calgary has just launched a new Open Access initiative through the University of Calgary press.  This is the first book. It will become one of the first interactive websites connecting seniors interested in training to become researchers and researchers wanting to extend their work with seniors as co-researchers.

Read about the links between physical activity and falls in older adults in this new survey.

Health & Place Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
A systematic literature search resulted in the inclusion of 31 articles. Results were inconsistent but most of the studied environmental characteristics were reported not to be related to PA. More studies in different contexts utilizing longitudinal designs, standardized, reliable and validated PA and environmental measurements and investigating possible moderating effects are definitely warranted.

Click on "5071" at the end of the bolded text in the middle of the page.
The CHMS collected key information relevant to the health of Canadians by means of direct physical measurements such as height, weight, body composition, physical fitness, blood pressure and physical activity. These indicators were collected from March 2007 to February 2009 from a representative sample of Canadians aged 6 to 79 years in 15 sites across the country.

The Master Plan provides an ambitious framework for guiding the development, delivery and continuous improvement of Recreation’s products, services and facilities.

Scroll down near the bottom of the webpage for the link to the booklet.
This booklet is intended as a simple guide to the physical activity projects from across the UK submitted to be showcased at the 10th BHFNC Annual Conference, ‘The cure for all ills is not to sit still: Raising the profile of physical activity across the UK’. This year’s booklet focuses on projects that have engaged primary care professionals such as GPs and Practice Nurses in project design and /or delivery.

Ian Janssen, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Obesity.
Dr. Janssen’s research program will address three theme areas….

PulsE is a quarterly eBulletin that provides information about newly published systematic reviews of public health and health services interventions. The reviews are drawn from a range of open access sources….

Overall support for changes in street use allocation was greater in the Bloor Annex neighbourhood than Bloor West Village. However in both neighbourhoods, the majority of merchants believed that changes to accommodate an increase in pedestrian or cyclist infrastructure would increase or would not change their daily number of customers.

Learn about effective ways to engage with the public around development schemes.

Planet Health Cymru provides a ‘one stop shop’ to aid collaborative working, detailing key information, tools, documents and examples of current practice for use by practitioners working in planning, transport, urban design, development, architecture, public health as well as anybody who has a responsibility in improving the nation’s health.

American Journal of Public Health November 2010, Vol 100, No. 11 | 2288-2295
DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.180828
Conclusions. Routine activity during the day at work or home may be related to reduced invasive breast cancer risk. Domains outside of recreation time may be attractive targets for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior among postmenopausal women.

You can click on ‘download’ to save a copy of the document for free.
Aimed at women, this booklet describes the risks of heart disease specific to women and provides advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

We all know by now that we should be getting 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days. Yet for all the proselytizing, wheedling and cajoling, only about 5 percent of the population has bought into the program. …..

Preventive Medicine Volume 51, Issue 5, November 2010, Pages 384-386
Conclusions: Declining levels of physical activity at work may help explain the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canada.

Labour Economics Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript
This study is the first to present evidence of the return to leisure sports in the job hiring process by sending fictitious applications to real job openings in the Swedish labor market. In the field experiment job applicants were randomly given different information about their type and level of leisure sports. Applicants who signaled sports skills had a significantly higher callback rate of about 2 percentage points, and this effect was about twice as large for physically demanding occupations.

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